Super Basketball League play is to resume this evening with Kinmen Kaoliang taking on top-ranked Pure Youth Construction at the Sinjhuang Sport Complex in New Taipei City at 6pm, followed by a showdown between the Taiwan Mobile Cloud Leopards and Bank of Taiwan.
After a long three-week Lunar New Year break that had all seven clubs around the league well rested, no one is more ready to hit the floor than the Distillers, who were humbled by the Builders in a 95-81 decision on Feb. 3 — both teams’ last game before the break. Leading the way for the best of Kinmen will be hired gun Taylor King, who will put his league-best 24.9 points-per-game average to the test as they look to spoil the Builders’ new year opener with an upset win.
In addition to a big game from King, skipper Luo Tien-jin will also need a solid effort from his outside scoring threat Lin Guan-luen, who led the league in scoring earlier in the season with several monstrous games, before tapering off in their last two weeks of play in what many would call a “mini slump.” The versatile point man did not play in the Distillers’ final game before the Lunar New Year break against the Builders because of an unspecified injury, but should be ready to hit the floor hard tonight.
Also attracting much attention this weekend will be the highly anticipated return of Dacin Tiger team icon Tien Lei, who is finally at full strength after suffering a foot injury in December last year that sidelined him for nearly two months. His speedy recovery to top form will be critical for the Cats in the final three weeks of regular season as they look to cling on to the No. 2 spot in the standings with a narrow half-game lead over the third-placed Leopards, who would love to trade places with the Tigers in the standings with a win over the Tigers in tomorrow afternoon’s standoff between the two squads.